Sexual assault gained attention at the institution when the Office for Civil Rights wrote to say it was opening an investigation.
After an internal review, the interim chancellor of the Fairbanks campus said in October 2015 that his institution had, from 2011 to 2014, failed to follow its own policies for responding to reports of sexual assault and let students found responsible go unpunished. “I am deeply sorry for how our lack of action affected our students and their friends and families,” said the chancellor, Mike Powers, in an open apologyhailed by victim advocates.
Other campuses have conducted internal reviews, and the university system planned an external review by an Anchorage lawyer.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, updated policies, and conducted a climate survey in March 2015 (but did not plan to release the results).
A former hockey player at the Fairbanks campus who was criminally acquitted of rape has sued the university system, arguing that it is unreasonably withholding his bachelor’s degree until it completes its investigation, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
Letter from the U.S. Department of Education to the institution informing it of the investigation.
This investigation was based on a proactive compliance review.
As part of the investigation, federal officials listed 35 requests of the institution, including the details of every sexual-misconduct report since 2011, and planned to visit in October 2014.
The investigation was resolved in February 2017. It found that the system "violated Title IX with respect its response to sexual harassment complaints, including complaints of sexual assault and sexual violence." The inquiry found fault with a former student grievance procedure, notices of nondiscrimination, and other matters.
As part of the resolution, the system agreed to revise grievance procedures, provide training to Title IX officers, and to provide information to new and returning students during orientation programs, among other things.
A federal investigation looking at how sexual violence is handled within the University of Alaska system is still pending, but universities across the state have already started implementing changes in their Title IX reporting requirements.
More than 100 people gathered in the Wood Center to discuss the University of Alaska Fairbanks' handling of sexual assault and misconduct the day after four years of mishandling of such cases came to light.
The interim chancellor for the University of Alaska Fairbanks said Tuesday that from 2011 to 2014, his institution failed to follow its own student discipline policies when dealing with sexual assaults on campus, based on an internal university re...
The U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office will be visiting four campuses of the University of Alaska next month to check if the school is handling sexual violence complaints according to federal law.